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Royal Canadian Mint Raises $200,000 in Donations for Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund and Military Families Fund

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From left to right: Commodore Mark B. Watson, Royal Canadian Mint Chair James B. Love, Quinte West Mayor John Williams and Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock at the official presentation of the Mint’s $200,000 donation to be shared by the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund and the Military Families Fund.

Proceeds from the Highway of Heroes silver commemorative coin raises $100,000 for each charity

Trenton, Ontario, April 3, 2013 - The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to announce that proceeds from the sales of its Highway of Heroes silver commemorative coin has raised $100,000 each for the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund (AMRF) and the Military Families Fund (MFF).  The donations were presented today at a special ceremony at the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial.

“Our Government is proud of the many Canadians who voluntarily honoured our fallen soldiers as they made their final journey along the Highway of Heroes, and whose actions inspired an unforgettable silver coin,” said Mr. Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West.  “This presentation to the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund and the Military Families Fund  honours the contributions of our veterans, our active soldiers and their families for their role in fighting terrorism and defending Canada's values.” 

“The Royal Canadian Mint has a proud tradition of issuing coins that honour the brave men and women who fought for Canada and at times gave their lives in defending our freedom,“  said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.  “The Highway of Heroes silver commemorative coin captured the profound gratitude of Canadians to our soldiers who served and fell in Afghanistan, and the Mint expresses our thanks to them, as well as to all our active Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families.”

“Thousands of ordinary Canadians became extraordinary Canadians by lining the route of the Highway of Heroes, from Trenton to Toronto, to voluntarily salute our fallen soldiers coming home from the war in Afghanistan,” said His Worship John Williams, Mayor of Quinte West and Chair of the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund committee. “We are delighted that the Royal Canadian Mint has joined the many donors to the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund so that the communities surrounding the starting point of the Highway of Heroes could build a permanent and exceptional memorial.”

“The Military Families Fund has assisted almost 1,000 families in their time of need and the Royal Canadian Mint's past support of the fund has been deeply appreciated by the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Commodore Mark B. Watson, Director General Personnel Family Support Services. “Today's donation from the Mint will continue to remind our military members and their families that their sacrifices are deeply valued by Canadians.”

The Highway of Heroes commemorative silver coin was unveiled in Trenton on October 31, 2011.  The coin featured an overpass along the Highway of Heroes as viewed from the perspective of the mourning family as they accompany their lost loved one along the route, as well as a Memorial Cross, commissioned after the First World War by King George V for presentation to the loved ones of fallen soldiers. The coin was available for sale until December 31, 2012 and $20.00 from the sale of each coin was to be shared between the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund and the Military Families Fund. 

About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company; the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca.

About the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial
Dedicated and unveiled to a crowd of over 2,500 on Saturday, November 10, 2012, the  Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial  is a beautiful, permanent monument  honoring our Canadian soldiers – the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the war in Afghanistan. The entire project is being funded solely by Canadians honouring Canadian soldiers through the Give To Honour Those Who Gave Campaign. Located in Trenton, Ontario's Bain Park on the beautiful Bay of Quinte and with Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Canada's largest Air Base nearby, the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial is a fitting tribute not far from where so many repatriation ceremonies occur and at the beginning of our fallen soldiers' journey along the Highway of Heroes, from Trenton to Toronto. The Memorial design was selected from many entries and designed to be reflective and contemplative in character and harmonize with its surroundings. Within the Memorial's circular form, two granite benches provide seating for those who come to reflect and enjoy the peace and beauty of the Memorial site and park which is open year-round.  www.afghanistanmemorial.ca.

About the Military Families Fund
The Military Families Fund was created in April 2007 by General Rick Hillier, the former Chief of Defence Staff to assist military families faced with unforeseen and often immediate needs that have resulted due to conditions of service. The fund continues to grow through the generous contributions of Canadians, corporations and other organizations, adding a new vehicle to support Canadian Forces members and their families.

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For more information, please contact:
Christine Aquino                                               
Director, Communications                   
(613) 993-9999         
aquino@mint.ca